Boating is a popular form of recreation and relaxation in California. Residents enjoy California’s lakes, rivers, and beaches. It is understandable when you see the beauty of our bodies of water why so many people would want to spend time on the water. However, accidental injuries are possible when operating a boat or other water vessel. Below are several boating safety tips that can help reduce the risk of a boating injury.
Obtain Your California Boater Card
As of January 1, 2019, persons 25 years of age or younger are required to obtain and carry a boater card to operate certain water vessels in California. Each year, additional age groups are added on January 1 for the boater card requirement until all individuals are required to carry a boater card by January 1, 2025. As a requirement to obtain your card, you must complete a boating safety course. Even though you may not be required to carry a boater card yet, it is a good idea to apply for your card because taking a boating safety course teaches important skills and safety tips that reduce the risk of boating injuries.
Inspect Your Boat Before Each Outing
Always conduct a pre-departure check to ensure that your boat is in good working order. If there is a problem, do not take your boat onto the water. Discover Boating has a printable version of its pre-departure checklist available on its website.
Always Check the Weather
Before leaving the dock, check the weather conditions. Make sure you have a weather radio on your boat and sign up for weather alerts on your cell phone. If you notice clouds, high winds, or changing weather conditions, it is best to head to the dock and get off the water.
Never Drink and Boat
Boating DUI is against the law. It is also dangerous and potentially deadly. No one should operate a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Obey All Boating Laws
Speeding, reckless driving, and other infractions of boating laws can lead to accidents on the water. Boat operators should be aware of the boating laws in California and obey those laws at all times. In addition to putting yourself and others at risk, you could also receive a costly fine for breaking boating laws.
Designate a Lookout
A boat operator must remain alert at all times. Distracted boating is a serious problem that results in tragic accidents. However, an operator should have a designated lookout who also watches for dangers and hazards on the water.
Be Careful in the Water
Do not allow passengers to swim near the motor, even when the boat is off. If you are going to get into the water, turn the boat off to avoid an accident. Always monitor passengers who are in the water for signs of distress. Everyone should wear a life jacket when in the water, water-skiing, or tubing, even if they are strong swimmers.
Contact a California Boating Injury Attorney
If you are injured in a boating accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. A thorough investigation of the incident is required to identify the cause of your injuries and identify the responsible parties. Our Sacramento boating injury attorneys understand laws related to boating accidents and injuries.
Contact The Tiemann Law Firm for a free consultation with a California boating injury lawyer by calling (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website.